The remarks were made by investigative reporter Robert Parry, the writer of the book, America’s Stolen Narrative. Here’s more from Parry’s article published by the "Consortium News".
Theoretically, it would be a great story for the American press: a system so obsessed with overthrowing the leader of a neighboring country that he authorizes his intelligence services to collaborate with terrorists in staging a lethal sarin attack to be blamed on his enemy and thus trick major powers to launch punishing bombing raids against the enemy’s military.
And, after that scheme failed to achieve the desired intervention, investigative reporter Robert Parry believes that, the system continues to have his intelligence services aid terrorists inside the neighboring country by providing weapons and safe transit for truck convoys carrying the terrorists’ oil to market. The story gets juicier because the autocrat’s son allegedly shares in the oil profits. But the problem with this story, as far as the American government and press are concerned, is that, the U.S. government and the compliant mainstream media publicly continued to push the Assad-did-it propaganda line. In a formal address to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013, US President Barack Obama declared, “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the Syrian government carried out this attack.” It remained easier for The New York Times, The Washington Post and other premier news outlets to simply ignore the compelling tale of possible Turkish complicity in a serious war crime.
After all, what would the American people think if – after the mainstream media had failed to protect the country against the lies that led to the disastrous Iraq War – the same star news sources had done something similar on Syria by failing to ask tough questions?
It’s also now obvious that if Obama had ordered a retaliatory bombing campaign against Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2013, the likely winners would have been the ISIS and Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which would have had the path cleared for their conquest of Damascus, creating a humanitarian catastrophe even worse than that one.
To confess to such incompetence or dishonesty clearly had a big down-side. So, the “smart” play was to simply let the old Assad-did-it narrative sit there as something that could still be cited obliquely from time to time under the phrase “Assad gassed his own people” and thus continue to justify the slogan: “Assad must go!”
But that imperative – not to admit another major mistake – means that the major U.S. news media also must ignore the courageous statements from Eren Erdem, a deputy of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, who has publicly accused the Erdogan government of blocking an investigation into Turkey’s role in procuring the sarin allegedly delivered to Al Qaeda-connected terrorists for use inside Syria.
Meanwhile, President Erdogan faces growing allegations that he tolerated the ISIS’s lucrative smuggling of oil from wells in Syria through border crossings in Turkey. Those oil convoys were bombed only last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially shamed President Obama into taking action against this important source of ISIS revenues.
Though Obama began his bombing campaign against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria in summer 2014, the illicit oil smuggling was spared interdiction for over a year as the U.S. government sought cooperation from Erdogan, who recently acknowledged that the ISIS and its cohorts are using nearly 100 kilometers of Turkey’s border to bring in recruits and supplies.
Earlier this month, Obama said he has had “repeated conversations with President Erdogan about the need to close the border between Turkey and Syria,” adding that “there’s about 98 kilometers that are still used as a transit point for foreign fighters, ISIS shipping out fuel for sale that helps finance their terrorist activities.”
Russian officials expressed shock that the ISIS was allowed to continue operating an industrial-style delivery system involving hundreds of trucks carrying oil into Turkey. Moscow also accused Erdogan’s 34-year-old son, Bilal Erdogan, of profiting off the ISIS’s oil trade, an allegation that he denied. The Russians say Bilal Erdogan is one of three partners in the BMZ Group, a Turkish oil and shipping company that has purchased oil from the ISIS.
The Russians further assert that Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian Su-24 bomber along the Syrian-Turkish border on Nov. 24 – which led to the murder of the pilot, by Turkish-backed terrorists, as he parachuted to the ground and to the death of a Russian marine on a rescue operation – was motivated by Erdogan’s fury over the destruction of his son’s ISIS oil operation. The Turkish president has denied that charge, claiming the shoot-down was simply a case of defending Turkish territory, although, according to the Turkish account, the Russian plane strayed over a slice of Turkish territory for only 17 seconds. The Russians dispute even that, calling the attack a premeditated ambush.
President Obama and the mainstream U.S. press sided with Turkey, displaying almost relish at the deaths of Russians in Syria and also showing no sympathy for the Russian victims of an earlier terrorist bombing of a tourist flight over Sinai in Egypt. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman expressed the prevailing attitude of Official Washington by ridiculing anyone who had praised Putin’s military intervention in Syria or who thought the Russian president was “crazy like a fox,” Friedman wrote: “Some of us thought he was just crazy.
The smug contempt that the mainstream U.S. media routinely shows toward anything involving Russia or Putin may help explain the cavalier disinterest in NATO member Turkey’s reckless behavior. Though Turkey’s willful shoot-down of a Russian plane that was not threatening Turkey could have precipitated a nuclear showdown between Russia and NATO, criticism of Erdogan was muted at most.
Similarly, neither the Obama administration nor the mainstream media wants to address the overwhelming evidence that Turkey – along with other U.S. “allies” such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar – have been aiding and abetting terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and ISIS, for years. Instead, Official Washington plays along with the fiction that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others are getting serious about combating terrorism.
The contrary reality is occasionally blurted out by a U.S. official or revealed when a U.S. intelligence report gets leaked or declassified. For instance, in 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted in a confidential diplomatic memo, disclosed by Wikileaks, that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to terrorist groups worldwide.”
According to a Defense Intelligence Agency report from August 2012, “Al Qaeda in Iraq, which later morphed into the ISIS, supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”
The US intelligence agency report added, “The salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iraq’ al-Qaeda are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria. And the West, Persian Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition.” The report included a stark warning about the expansion of ISIS. The brutal armed movement was seeing its ranks swelled by the arrival of global terrorists rallying to the black banner of Saudi-backed militancy, intolerant of other branches of Islam.
Despite these occasional bursts of honesty, the U.S. government and the mainstream media have put their goal of having another “regime change” – this time in Syria – and their contempt for Putin ahead of any meaningful cooperation toward defeating the ISIS and Al Qaeda. There are calls for some of them – the likes of The New York Times’ Friedman and The Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt – to finally be held accountable for consistently misinforming and misleading at least the American people.
So, at least for now — from a perspective of self-interest — it makes more sense for the Obama administration and major news outlets to ignore the developing story of a NATO ally’s ties to terrorism, including an alleged connection to a grave war crime, the sarin attack outside Damascus, let alone those crimes committed by Zionist Israeli regime against the innocent Palestinians. Turkey has been used as a corridor for terrorists to reach Syria and commit heinous crimes against humanity; a kind of which has just recently gripped Europe, whether in form of refugees or direct terrorist attacks.